Is jojoba oil better for your skin than rosehip oil? Or is it argan oil? What about chia oil – is that any good? Or should you be using marula oil? (What even is marula oil?!)
It’s enough to make most people throw their hands up and abandon mission.
Obviously, moisturiser is essential in winter but they’re designed to sit more superficially on the surface of your skin to seal in moisture, whereas facial oils (which count as serums) penetrate deeper to deliver lasting hydration. Therefore, yes, it is obligatory you use one. And yes, even on oily skin.
But which one? Most experts suggest a “cocktail approach” – buying one that contains a mix for compounded benefits. Alternatively, you can blend and layer what you already own. Below is a helpful explainer of the most popular face oils currently out and what they’re actually doing for your face.
Best for: Irritated, sensitive skin types.
Marula oil isn’t a household name yet like argan oil or rosehip oil, but it’s up-and-coming. Originating in South African wilderness, marula grows in extreme environmental conditions like drought and heat so it’s seasoned to survive dehydration and UV exposure. A rich source of omega 9 and antioxidants, this face oil helps repair irritated skin and also has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-ageing properties. Use during the day to help neutralise free radicals and at night for recovery.
EVENING PRIMROSE OIL
Best for: Problem skin types.
Extracted from the seeds of the evening primrose flower, this oil is best known for alleviating problem skin conditions like hormone-induced acne, psoriasis, rosacea, eczema and dermatitis. It’s also quite common to take evening primrose oil capsules orally to help with balancing hormones and dry skin. Applied topically, the face oil delivers nourishment and antioxidants for calming and minimising said skin conditions.
Healthy, glowing complexion.
Best for: Dull, lacklustre skin.
Rosehip oil is derived from “the fruit left behind when a rose has bloomed and dropped its petals,” shares Corinne Morely, In-House Skin Expert for Trilogy. It’s one of the most popular facial oils on the market and is effective at “promoting healthy skin cell function and is a natural way to maintain a healthy, glowing complexion,” adds Morely. The more intense the yellow-gold pigment, the more nutrient-rich it is. Mix it with your day or night cream for a dewy, hydrated glow.
Best for: Dehydrated, oily and sensitive skin types.
Another popular variety is jojoba (sounds like ho-ho-baa). While not technically an oil, it is worth including here because the misconception is so far-reaching. Jojoba is actually a wax ester, explains Vicky Engsall, founder of The Jojoba Company. Because it’s structure is so similar to our own sebum, it is able to penetrate much deeper carrying with it a whole host of hydrating and healing benefits (from vitamin A, D, E and essential fatty acids). If you’re not seeing results from your current skincare, make it go deeper by mixing in a little jojoba.
The cashmere wool of facial oils.
Best for: Very dry, tough skin.
Rich in conditioning vitamin E, think of argan oil as the ‘cashmere wool of oils’. Josie Maran, former model & founder of her own eponymous natural beauty line uses argan oil as a star ingredient in most of the products. She raves: “My skin was inflamed and super dry the and the day after I used Argan Oil for the first time, it was like I was a completely new person. My skin is smooth, juicy and glowing because of this liquid gold miracle.” Attention must be paid.
Lightweight, but plumping.
Best for: All skin types.
Extracted by pressed a crazy ton of those super tiny chia seeds, this oil as it turns out is as great for your outsides as it is for your insides. Erica Andersen, Brand Manager of Goodness Natural Beauty Lab explains: “Chia oil is mineral-rich and has the ultimate ratio of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids,” so it delivers a high return on anti-inflammatory benefits while also being extremely lightweight, fast-absorbing and skin-plumping. It’s superfood meets skincare.
POMEGRANATE SEED OIL
Fortifies and strengthens.
Best for: Sensitised, maturing skin.
Pomegranate seed oil is an extremely lightweight oil that leaves a matte finish on skin once absorbed. Michelle Reeve, Founder of Spaceuticals says this is her favourite oil because it not only delivers potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, it also work to firm, strengthen skin’s immunity and helps to diminish the appearance of scars for overall rejuvenation. We need.